By John Chimunhu
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe Limited opened the week in negative territory, on the back of last week’s announcement that it’s United Kingdom parent Barclays plc planned to sell off the local unit, in which it holds 68 percent.
Barclays Zimbabwe’s share price was further eroded Monday, shedding a massive six percent to trade at three cents, the lowest level in a year. The bank’s share price peaked at 4.40 cents and the company has now lost 29.41 percent of its value year on year.
With 2,253,320,120 shares in issue, Barclays remains one of the largest companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of $64,599,605 as of Monday.
Despite the price falling dramatically in the past week, there has been no stampede to sell off the company’s shares. A miniscule 30, 483 shares with a nominal value of $914.49 were sold Monday.
Uncertainty has gripped the blue chip counter after Barclays plc announced the imminent pullout and plans to sell to locals. The bank’s board could suffer changes to reflect the change in ownership when it happens. The positions of chief executive George Guvamatanga and finance director Samuel Matsekete are not assured. It is currently chaired by serial investor and president Robert Mugabe’s acolyte Anthony Mandiwanza and comprises of Canaan F Dube, Emmanuel Fundira, A I Lawson, J Phiri, Professor Hope C Sadza, B Moyo and S D Mtsambiwa.
Guvamatanga downplayed the impact of the intended sell-off, saying Barclays Zimbabwe’s fundamentals remained strong. The group had earnings per share of 0.18 but failed to declare a dividend in 2015.
Barclays Bank is one of the leading banks in Zimbabwe and has operated in the country since 1912. The bank has a major commercial banking network throughout the country with 38 branches in all large commercial centres.
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